Should crypto exchanges freeze Russian accounts? Although they have been asked to do so by the Ukrainian government, Binance, Kraken, and KuCoin say they will not freeze accounts held by Russian citizens without a legal requirement to do so. A spokesperson for Binance (the world’s largest crypto exchange) told CNBC, “Crypto is meant to provide greater financial freedom for people across the globe. To unilaterally decide to ban people’s access to their crypto would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.”
Think about this: the fact that Binance, Kraken, and KuCoin have the ability to freeze an account means that they are centralized authorities, so the existence of Binance, Kraken, KuCoin, and every other centralized exchange “flies in the face of the reason why crypto exists.” In a truly decentralized world, it would not be possible to freeze or shut down any accounts. Remember: “not your keys, not your coins.” For better or for worse, those who want to harness the “power and promise of crypto” do not leave their digital assets on centralized exchanges.
Forgetting the “power and promise of crypto” for a minute… because they are centralized, the world’s biggest exchanges have the ability to apply financial pressure by freezing accounts. Should they get in the fight?
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.